Harvest Time – Kohlrabi

Back in April, I posted about kohlrabi, called colinabo in Spanish, a new-to-me crop in my backyard.  Amongst the photos I shared were the two below, showing kohlrabi sprouted indoors (left) and a sprout from seed sowed directly in the garden bed (right):

Kohlrabi sprouted indoors (April 25, 2020)
Kohlrabi sprouted in garden bed (April 25, 2020)

I transferred the indoor sprouts to individual paper cups, and a couple of weeks later, I transplanted them to the same bed as the ones sowed directly.  In the photo below, a transplanted seedling with the top of the paper cup kept as a protective collar (left) next to two direct-sow seedlings:

Kohlrabi seedlings (May 11, 2020)

I moved one of the direct-sow seedlings to a pot, to avoid crowding later on.  At that point, the direct-sow seedlings seemed way behind in development compared to the ones sprouted indoors, but just a week later, they had quietly, yet quickly, pretty much caught up:

Kohlrabi seedlings (May 19, 2020)

I removed the paper collars and topped up all the seedlings with a bit of extra soil; a few heavy-rain days, and then regular watering, helped them all to grow strong.  Below is a series of photos following one plant, from the beginning of swelling of the stem, to maturity:

June 9, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 29, 2020

Fully grown kohlrabies are so alien looking, very decorative in the garden bed.  The more common varieties have a light green exterior; mine are purple, so shiny, they could be displayed as gems next to rubies or diamonds:  

Kohlrabi ready for harvest (July 6, 2020)

Although both the sprouted-indoors and the direct-sow crops developed well, the latter seemed to have grown slightly larger, in average; one example is the same pair I was following, since the beginning:

Fully grown kohlrabi; sprouted indoors shown left, and slightly larger, directly sown, right (July 6, 2020)

The one I transplanted to a pot back in May is still alive, although it is growing much slower than the rest of the crop:

plant transplanted to a pot in May (June 25, 2020)

This means that sprouting indoors is not necessary, and that growth is generally better in the ground, so next year I will just sow all the kohlrabi seed in the garden bed (in mid April for my 6B Northern Hemisphere gardening zone.)  I have heard that it is recommended to harvest kohlrabi when it has reached the “size of a tennis ball” (the official diameter range being 6.54–6.86 cm; 2.57–2.70 inches) before they start aging and become woody; the largest ones in my crop were about 7.2 cm (2.8 inches), so I felt like I had to oblige and harvest those right away. Bonnie Plants™ actually quotes a more reasonable range, between 2.5 and 4 inches (6.35 and 10.16 cm), but I could hardly wait to taste my new crop, anyway, so I harvested two right away. I will be sharing my findings in the kitchen soon.

I am linking to Cee’s Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge, for July 7, 2020.

15 thoughts on “Harvest Time – Kohlrabi

  1. I got kohlrabi in a CSA share – much like cabbage in flavor, but more work to shred. Your purple variety is very pretty! I like your experimentation. I thought my garden tomato plants would be awesome this year, but the ones in pots are doing much better. Go figure.

    Liked by 1 person

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